Slow Roasted Pork Achiote

January 31, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Posted in Mexican/Southwest, pork | 38 Comments
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I’m a huge Rick Bayless fan and a big fan of real Mexican Food. By real Mexican food I mean authentic dishes from south of the border as opposed to our Americanized versions of dishes we call “Mexican Food” 

Slow Roasted Pork Achiote steaming hot out of the oven

I was browsing through his cookbooks last Saturday and this jumped right off the page and right onto my dinner table. This is simply delicious. 

Rick tells us in the introduction to this recipe that this type pork recipe would normally be served at a large celebration using a slow pit roasted whole pig. Since most of us don’t have pits in our back yards, Rick assures us a slow cooker or dutch oven and a bone-in pork roast will deliver much of the same flavors. It’s just up to us to provide the celebration. 


The major flavor to this dish is Achiote. Achiote is a spice used in cuisine in Mexico and South America. The paste is clay red in color and clay-like in texture. It does turn your fingers red when you crumble the paste. 

It’s made of crushed achiote seed, vinegar, salt, garlic and spices and is typically formed into a small block. The paste is then diluted and added to stews or used as a rub for meats. It adds a salty and bittersweet tangy flavor.  It is a traditional ingredient used to make Ricado, a rub for suckling pig and other meats. 



For this dish, I’ve diluted the paste in fresh lime juice. 


Line a Dutch oven or crockpot with banana leaves. Make sure you place the banana leaves so that you can fold them over to surround your pork roast. 


Pour the diluted achiote seasoning over the roast, top with rings of sliced onions and pour a little bit of water on the sides of the roast. Fold the banana leaves over to surround the meat and onions. Put the lid on and slow roast the meat either 6 hours on high in a crock pot, or 3 hours in the oven at 300 degrees. 


Serve with Roasted Fresh Chili Salsa (photo above, recipe below), some good quality warm corn tortillas and a fresh green salad and you’ve got a beautiful and delicious meal. A note about corn tortillas. Hopefully you can find a good hand-made brand like the one I found at Marczyk Fine Foods. They don’t even resemble the rubbery cheap brands that you find at Safeway. NO comparison. 

Slow-cooked Achiote Pork: 

  • 2 oz. achiote seasoning
  • 3/4 C. lime juice
  • Salt
  • Banana leaves
  • 3 pound bone-in pork shoulder roast
  • 1 large white onion, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C. roasted fresh chile salsa


  1. Place the achiote seasoning in a small bowl. Pour in 1/2 C. of the lime juice and 2 t. salt. Use a fork to work the mixture into a smooth thickish marinade.
  2. Line your slow cooker with banana leaves. Lay in the pork and pour the marinade over and around the meat. 
  3. Scatter the white onion over the meat.
  4. Pour 1/2 C. water around the meat.
  5. Fold banana leaves to roughly cover everything.
  6. Cover and slow-cook on high for 6 hours, until the meat is fall-off-the-bone tender.  If you roast this in the oven, 300 degrees for 3 hours.
  7. While the meat is cooking, combine the red onion with remaining 1/4 cup lime juice in a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and set aside to marinate, stirring from time to time..
  8. Use tongs to transfer the meat and onions to dinner plates. Spoon off any rendered fat that’s floating in the juices. Ladle brothy sauce into a saucepan and boil it down to about 1/2. Season with salt and spoon it over the meat. Top with the lime-marinated red onions and serve with the salsa and warm corn tortillas.

Roasted Fresh Chile Salsa: 

Makes 1/2 Cup 

  • 4 ounces fresh hot green chiles (4 medium jalapeño, or 10 medium Serrano, or 12 orange Habanero)  I used the jalapeño
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice

Turn on your oven broiler and adjust rack to highest level.  Break stems off the chiles, cut them in half lengthwise and lay them, cut side down, on a small baking sheet.  Scatter the garlic cloves among the chiles.  Broil until chiles are soft and blotchy black. Remove skins. Scrape the chiles and garlic into a blender and add the lime juice and 1/4 C. water. Process until nearly smooth. 


I ate this like a soft taco. Warm the tortillas, lay some of the tender pork on top, drizzle with the Fresh Chili Salsa and some cilantro and red onions. Roll it up and enjoy. I can’t wait to serve this at my next dinner party. Rick Bayless has done it again!   



Just Grilled, My Year On The Grill

January 30, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Posted in Just Grilled - A Blog Interview | 17 Comments

I like to refer to Dave over at My Year On The Grill as the “hardest working man in blog business”.

Welcome to this month’s Just Grilled! So far, I’ve been presenting my Just Grilled Bloggers in the order in which I found them when I first started following food blogs. But after Dave, it’s a free for all, because one day while layed up in bed in a pain-killer drug-induced state due to a back injury, I wildly added about 30 blogs to my RSS feed and who knows in what order.

I love Dave’s blog. Not only is he the hardest working guy, he also brings a Cecile B. DeMille production quality to our cooking lives. Flamboyance and showmanship, self-confidence, ambition, passion, artistry and gutsiness come to mind when thinking back of some of his posts.  I think my favorite post of his involved potatoes. Need I say more?  

Dave, on the other hand, likes to compare himself to P.T. Barnum. In his own words “I prefer to think of myself as the PT Barnum of blogdom. He took lots of little bits and made a life of it. I am not and never will be the best cook blogging, nor the best griller, nor the best writer. But little bits do seem to add up, and I think the whole is worth a read.”

So let’s learn some more about Dave and My Year On The Grill:

Name: Dave Scott

City: God’s Country, Shawnee, KS (Suburb of Kansas City)

Blog url:

 How long have you been blogging? Just since June, 8 months.

 Four words to describe the food you like to cook: Meat, Cajun, Challenging, Panache.

 Six words to describe you: Shy, unassuming, quiet, unpretentious…nah, those aren’t right…Truthfully, I am Confident, Adaptive, Inventive, Fun, A tad obsessive (alright, a lot obsessive), and after 5 decades on this earth, I am in a very HAPPY place in my life.

 Proudest moment in the kitchen: I still pee my pants just a little when I make a loaf bread (I am old, my bladder is not what it used to be), and that first loaf  I am still stunned over.  But, Jackie (my wife) and I were going to be alone over Christmas, no family or friends around, and KC got hit with a bad snow storm, so we were going to be socked in.  what could have been a little depressing turned into a very romantic fun event. Each hour, for 12 hours we recreated memorable dishes from our past. Restaurant recreations of dishes that were special to us.  Either because of the setting, or the taste or the presentation. It was a great day in the kitchen, and very memorable.

 Here’s the link to the 12 dishes…

 Most embarrassing moment in the kitchen  Well, I am sure you are thinking that post that shall never be mentioned (but you can follow this link:  to find it, but I don’t mention that ever again). But truthfully, I am embarrassing proud of that post, so it doesn’t count. 

 I would have to pick one of the three times that my stove has been on fire (only had to use the fire extinguisher once, do the other two really count???), so I would pick that time.

 Rules of conduct in your kitchen: I actually prefer to be alone when I cook.  But, my wife prefers to clean as I go along. So, I have to walk carefully about the rule of alone. But, here’s one, Don’t open my oven. Amazing how many people want to take a look.

 Favorite Ingredient: Garlic…hasn’t been a vampire around since I started cooking.

Most over-rated ingredient:  Salt. I add salt to very few dishes. I am sure it is used much too often, and in far bigger quantities than needed. I want to taste the food. I challenge you to NOT add any salt to your dishes for a month. After that time, you will taste every grain (as it should be), and it is special. My pet peeve is when someone salts my food without tasting it.  Trust me, my food has lots of flavor. If you think it needs salt, fine, but at least give me a chance first.

 Favorite local ingredient:  Kansas gets GREAT sweet corn in the summer. 

 Weirdest thing you ever eaten:  One man’s weird is another man’s delicacy.  But I did sample the heart of a bear once (tasted like chicken.

 Favorite kitchen gadget:  I have a mini-chopper that makes chopping and dicing very easy.

 Everybody loves it when I cook:   They do, they really do. I have a bit of a reputation as a party host and party food cook, so everyone does love when I cook. If you are asking for one dish, Pulled Pork. I miss summer.

 Favorite all-time restaurant  You know, this is the hardest question you have asked. My tastes have changed, and honestly, since I have been cooking 100% of the family meals, with an emphasis on quality, I am less and less impressed with the restaurants I used to think were special. But, I guess my all time favorite is Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen.

 Favorite Cookbook:  I cook from internet blogger posts mostly. The only cookbook I use is HOW TO GRILL by Steven Raichlen.

 What music do you like to cook by:  Aren’t playlists on iPods fantastic? I have a playlist with 187 songs that I labeled DAVE COOKS.  Mostly 50’s and 60’s, peppy numbers, and an embarrassing number of show tunes. Truth be told, I cook to the soundtracks of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, OKLAHOMA, MUSIC MAN, the PRODUCERS and WICKED than anything else (and no, I am not gay, not that there would be anything wrong with that).

 If I owned my own restaurant, I would name it:  Something different every day.  Really. There used to be a restaurant in Decatur, Illinois. Ran by a great couple, he cooked, she waited tables. It was in an old 100 plus year old house, and they just added a few tables in the parlor. Seated no more than a dozen people a night. She cooked only 2 or 3 main courses.  Something different all the time. I am sure zoning and safety issues have closed it down, and it could never be opened again, but that would be the only restaurant I would consider…and even that, no way. If you can time it right, and TRADITION from Fiddler is on when you are kneading your bread, you know it’s going to be a great day!

 What famous person would I love to invite over to lunch (living or deceased):  Sally Field, Maureen McCormick, Annette Funicello…and Tom Selleck.

 If I were President who would I appoint as my Chef:  Bobby Flay.

 In my opinion my best blog post was:  My next one….Is the truth, I do try to write a bit better each post. Sometimes it shows, and I can honestly only think of a few that I just went through the motions to get something up. My most popular post was… Raspberry Chipotle Spiral Cut Pork Loin with a Chorizo Sausage stuffing wrapped in a Bacon Lattice.  But I think my best post was when I was challenged to GRILL an all vegetarian meal for a friend…It’s a Party – I am a Vegetarian Cook.

 Thanks for letting me rake you over the coals  letting me interview you Dave!  If you don’t follow Dave’s blog on a regular basis, this would be a great time to start.  Dave is moving down to the U.S. Virgin Islands for about 6 months.  He’ll be taking us with him through his blog. 

Hurrah For Bloggers!

January 27, 2010 at 3:12 am | Posted in Breakfast, eggs, Salads | 40 Comments
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One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to actually cook some of those recipes I’ve bookmarked from your blogs. I promised myself that I would incorporate your offerings  into my weekly menu and so far I’ve not fallen off the wagon and pretty much stayed the course.

Here’s the latest:

First up is a delicious recipe I found over at Nod and Wink. Slow Scrambled Eggs With Rosemary and Capers.  I have to admit, I was a little leery of the flavor combination of rosemary and capers in eggs, but I have to tell you this was delicious.  Loved it. You can find the recipe by clicking HERE. I did exactly what George said not to do; I overcooked the eggs a bit. I rushed it at the end by putting a lid on the pan for the final 30 seconds and left the lid on about 30 seconds too long. 🙂 Even though the texture wasn’t perfect the flavor sure was. I served this on top of English Muffins.  This recipe is now in my permanent database. Thank you so much George  for posting this on Nod and Wink and my apologies for that photo that doesn’t do your wonderful recipe justice.

I served these eggs with Potatoes O’Brien (also in the photo above). I found this recipe over at  Cooking Tip Of  The Day. I have been known to buy Oreida Potatoes O’Brien every once in a while and I have no idea why I’ve never made them myself. I didn’t have any green pepper, so used a yellow bell pepper. And of course these are delicious. To view her original post click HERE.  Thanks to Linda for this good solid recipe.

And last, but not least, look at this beautiful salad. I found this idea over at Mango and Tomato. Thanks to Olga I was reminded to use up the last of those Hearts of Palm I had in the fridge. This was a delicious and very healthy mid-week lunch for me. I did add a splash of Seasoned Rice Vinegar to the olive oil dressing. You can view the original post and a much prettier photo by clicking HERE. Thanks Olga!

So thank you my friends for these wonderful recipes. They’ve all gone from “bookmarked” to a permanent record in my recipe database.

Hurrah for bloggers!

Crabby Uncle Louie

January 26, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Posted in Breakfast, eggs | 25 Comments
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I have a terrible obsession with the Benedict family, but if you’re a regular reader you already know that.  

Before I introduce you to Uncle Louie, I need to come clean about something.  I fake it when it comes to Hollandaise Sauce. I’m not afraid of using butter, but a stick and a half in the morning just doesn’t sound good. So here’s what I do: 

My (fake) Hollandaise Sauce 

  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed
  • 1/8 cup 2% milk
  • 2 T. butter
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Heat a non-stick sauce pan over medium heat. Add two slightly beaten egg yolks and heat until almost hot. Watch carefully as you don’t want them to scramble. Add the milk and stir.  Melt in the butter and  squeeze in the lemon juice and keep warm until ready to use. In my humble opinion this turns out to be a creamy lemony lighter version and one I prefer for my Benedict breakfasts. 

OK, so back to the Benedict family. Remember the Spanish-speaking neighbor Chipolte Eggs Benedict? And his rich Aunt Mushroom Cream Sauce Benedict? Well I dreamed up Louie through a photo I saw of a steak topped with crab, asparagus and sauce. So without further ado, please welcome Crabby Uncle Louie into the family. 


Louie Benedict 


On toasted English muffins crisscross tender ends of steamed asparagus and top with some steamed and crumbled crab meat (I just steamed one leg for the two of us). 

Disclaimer: I don't eat my eggs this raw, these are only about half done and on their way to perfectly poached

Top with your perfectly pod-poached eggs 


Drizzle with Hollandaise Sauce, serve with some fresh fruit. Wearing your old slip-on style Uncle Louie slippers, fetch the newspaper, grab a cup of coffee  and you’ve got a beautiful Sunday morning breakfast.

Meet The Soup and The Salad

January 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Posted in Salads, Soup, Vegetables | 31 Comments
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We all know we have to do it everyonce in awhile.  Get those noses out of the cookbooks and eyes off the food blogs.  We have to stop looking for our next great creation and walk over to that refrigerator, drag out all that unused produce and use it up before it goes bad.

Meet The Soup and The Salad. This is how I use up all of those vegetables. The soup is just a good old healthy vegetable soup and the easiest thing in the world to make and so flexible and variable. All you need is brothy liquid of your choice, tomatoey liquid, seasonings and vegetables.

Here’s what I had in the fridge:

  • The rest of enoki mushrooms and ginger that I used for Pho earlier in the week
  • A half a bell pepper left from a salad from Wednesday
  • Carrots and celery left over from who knows what last week
  • The partial onions left over from this and that
  • And you know me, I always have cilantro in the house
  • The remainder of the long beans used in a mid-week stir fry
  • I buy those plastic containers of tomatoes from Costco to keep on hand for salads, and they’re starting to look a little sad. 

And by the way, can we all have a moment of silence for those summer fresh tomatoes out of the garden…..Thank you.  Boy am I missing those right now.

Chop the beans in 1-inch pieces 

 In your favorite soup pot heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, add carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté, stirring often for another five minutes. 

Add a few cups of stock and seasonings of your choice. I like to add a few shakes or so each of savory, cumin, fennel, basil, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary and marjoram. And always some chopped garlic.

I even added some lemon zest from the lemons that were supposed to go into my next batch of limoncello that I never made.

 And ALWAYS some of this. Pickapeppa is a wonderfully flavored sauce somewhere between Worcestershire Sauce and a steak sauce. I always have a bottle in the fridge for soup.

Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Chop up a bunch of those tomatoes, throw most of them in the simmering soup and save a few for your salad.  If you don’t have fresh tomatoes you can always throw canned tomatoes into the soup.

And the same theory for the salad. Use those greens that are sitting in the produce bin in the fridge. I’m going to give you the recipe for my 1 minute dressing.  I make this a lot and it’s delicious. 

Lea Ann’s 1 Minute Dressing

  • 4 T. Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1 T. Toasted sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper

Please in a container that you can shake well to blend and pour over your salad. Can anything be any easier?

I like fruit in my salads so I even used up a couple of the Cuties that are on my counter, and I always, and I mean always, have avocados on hand.

So there you have it, a delicious and healthy dinner in about 30 minutes.

A note on salads. I always have items on hand for salads. A trip to Costco will fill your refrigerator with a sack of avocados, a bag of romaine hearts and a bag of red, green, and yellow bell peppers. I buy a large container of tomatoes that I place in a decorative bowl on the kitchen counter.  I eat salads almost everyday for lunch and a quick salad makes a great side dish at dinner.

So there, healthy, easy and my refrigerator is cleaned out and ready for my next week’s menu.  Let the fun resume.

I’m sending this over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sundays feature.

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

January 23, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Appetizers | 16 Comments
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The Superbowl will be here before you know it, so I’m starting to test some Superbowl festive recipes just in case we get invited to a party. (Hint hint). 

This recipe comes from Colorado Classique. I’m loving this cookbook. Full of great sounding recipes and beautiful photographs. 

This is so easy and full of flavor and I mean FULL of flavor. I was a little afraid to use one full teaspoon of cayenne pepper, but I’m glad I did, as it added so much to the recipe. The reason I was afraid is because I use good quality spices from our local Spice Shop named Savory Spice. A  fabulous little store in downtown historic Littleton, Colorado. Their cayenne is really fresh and really full of zing, zip, and zap. You can visit their website by clicking HERE. Any spice you can dream up can be found in this store. 

Anyway, back to this recipe. I’ll be making this over and over. Easy as can be. We started out eating this with crackers and then switched over to corn chips. Very good either way.

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

  • 1 1/2 ounces dry sun-dried tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed (next time I’ll use 4 cloves – a little too garlicky for me)
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1/2 C. mayonnaise
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 t. dried basil
  • 1 t.  cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. salt

Blanch sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water for 4 minutes or until softened and drain. Chop garlic in a food processor with a metal blade until finely minced. Add rehydrated tomatoes and process until chopped into small pieces. Add garbanzo beans, olive oil, mayonnaise, lemon juice, Parmesan, basil, cayenne pepper and salt and process until smooth. Serve with crackers, toasted pita wedges or raw vegetables. Serves 12.

Baked Ziti With Fire Roasted Tomatoes

January 21, 2010 at 10:58 pm | Posted in Pasta | 22 Comments
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I mean who doesn’t love a baked cheesy one pot pasta dish??? I found this recipe over at the Muir Glen Website and I’m sure glad I gave it a try.   

Before Christmas I received an offer from Muir Glen to purchase a pack of their special reserve harvest tomatoes. It was only 7 bucks so I said “what the heck”.  Plus, the shipment included a nice little cookbook.   

To my surprise, not only did I receive the tomatoes but look how cleverly they were packaged.  Good job Muir Glen Marketing Department!   


Wanting to try the Fire Roasted Tomatoes first, I saw this recipe, it sounded delicious. And it was.   I even made a special trip to Whole Foods for some good quality ziti.  I have a pantry full of whole grain pastas just to stay on the healthier side, but for the first try of this recipe wanted the whole devilishly sinful effect.    


I was a little leery that this might taste too tomatoey because it had one can of tomatoes plus one full can of tomato sauce.   I was wrong.  This recipe is delicious and the mild. The sweet flavor of those fire roasted tomatoes mixed in with all that mozzarella cheese, ground beef and zucchini makes this a scrumptious pasta dish.  Just serve with your favorite green salad and you’ve got a wonderful meal that you could even serve to guests at a dinner party.   

Right out of the oven

To my pasta bowls

I made absolutely no changes to this recipe, except for using my Dutch oven on the stove top, so I could easily transfer the meal to the oven.  So, without any further ado, I present to you Baked Ziti with Fire Roasted Tomatoes.   

Muir Glen Baked Ziti With Fire Roasted Tomatoes:   

2 1/2 cups uncooked ziti pasta (8 oz)
1/2 lb extra-lean (at least 90%) ground beef
1 large sweet onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 can (15 oz) Muir Glen® organic tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen® organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (3 oz)   

Preparation Directions   

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Cook and drain pasta as directed on box.
2. Meanwhile, spray 12×8-inch (2 quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic over medium heat, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked.
3. Stir zucchini into beef mixture; cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Add drained pasta; toss to coat. Spread in baking dish.
4. Cover dish tightly with foil; bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered about 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): Increase covered bake time to 30 minutes.
If you like, use ground turkey or chicken in place of the ground beef.

Thanks to Muir Glen for such great products and for this wonderful and easy recipe.  They’ve got a great web site, take a look at

Field Trip For Sticky Lips Chicken

January 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Posted in Chicken | 32 Comments
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Sticky Lips Chicken

  I’ve been hearing a lot about Marczyk Fine Foods lately, so talked the hubby into leaving our suburban bubble for a Saturday morning field trip  into the city for a visit.  

 Marczyk Fine Foods is at Clarkson and 17th  just east of Downtown Denver.  With easy parking, a fine wine department and the smells of exotic spices and simmering  foods wafting as we went in the front door, I knew I was going to love this place.  

A stack of beautiful corn tortillas made just for the store stacked in front of the meat counter. The label indicates these were not made by gringos. I bought some.

 We found this small neighborhood market filled with specialty gourmet food items,  fresh seafood, organic produce, gourmet cheeses, exotic stuffed olives, an impressive meat counter that includes Niman Ranch products and a deli area offering house made sandwiches and prepared food items.   

Every item in the store is obviously chosen for quality.  If I hadn’t already been on a Sticky Lips Chicken mission,  I would have purchased some delicious looking crab stuffed sole that I watched one of the chefs sprinkling with vibrant red smoked paprika.   

I had seen this recipe for Sticky Lips Chicken in my new Colorado Classique Cookbook.  The recipe called for a slice of frozen veal stock which I had never seen anywhere and was available at their market.  With my sack filled with items I have never seen, such as wild boar sausage, New York style split buns, and that frozen veal stock,  we headed back South to prepare that chicken for dinner.  

This is simply, and surprisingly delicious and I fully credit the impressive flavors to good quality chicken, 

 Oregon Pinot Gris, hinting of melon and peach, 

 and that rich flavored frozen roasted veal stock  

So here’s the recipe for Marczyk’s Sticky Lips Chicken  

 Salt and pepper chicken pieces and brown in a heavy pan in butter.  Remove and set aside.  

 Sweat 2 sliced shallots in the pan and deglaze the pan with a dry white wine.   Add a dollop of good brown mustard and several sprigs of tarragon.  

 Add chicken back in along with a little more wine, a slice of frozen veal stock and some sherry vinegar to make a nice braising liquid for the chicken.  

Bake at 300 degrees for about an hour.  Serve over buttery egg noodles.  

Marczyk owner, Pete says this delicious braised chicken gets its name from the veal demi used in the sauce, adding that the collagen makes your lips stick together.  


Sticky Lips Chicken   


3 pounds skin-on chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated
3 large shallots, peeled and sliced
½ cup brown mustard
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or any other wine-based vinegar
¼ pound veal demi-glace (Bonewerks CulinArte is recommended)
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
Salt and pepper  


Liberally salt and pepper the chicken. In a large dutch oven or enamel pan, brown the chicken in butter over medium heat, about 12 minutes per side. The fat from the chicken will keep it from sticking, and the enamel pan can go straight from oven to stove.  

Set the chicken on a platter, and drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat. Add the 2 tablespoons of fat to the same pan and lightly brown the shallots over medium heat. Add the mustard, wine, sherry, veal demi-glace and fresh tarragon leaves, and stir. Add the chicken to the pan. Cover with enough water to bring the liquid about halfway up the sides of the chicken. Stir once, cover and cook in a 300ºF oven for 1 hour until chicken is golden. Serve with mashed potatoes, rice, noodles or polenta.  

Here’s their website:  

Thanks to Marczyk for this delicious recipe.

Sweet Potato Pasta

January 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Pasta | 31 Comments
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Isn’t this pasta just screaming for a sprinkle of green chives? 

One of the pleasant surprises of blogging is that when your food photos appear on your computer screen…they talk.   And I’m glad they talk, because they teach me.

Sometimes a photo of a plated meal will chatter pleasantly amongst itself.  And other times its fighting  like cats and dogs.   One time I opened a photo to find an angry skinless chicken breast in a white cream sauce demanding that the dollop of mashed potatoes be removed immediately and replaced with its more colorful friend, asparagus.   

Then there was the braised chicken leg who said “Back off, you’re too close and this really isn’t flattering to my complexion.” 

The greasy limp wrong-bread beef panini that simply asked “What the hell were you thinking?”  

A pork roast that asked “Does this glaze make my butt look fat?”

The lentil soup who that pitifully gurgled “I’m boring.” 

The big dark steak wearing a dark cloak of brown gravy jumped onto the screen yelling BOO.  Scared me to death.

You know what I’m saying, you’ve all heard it.  

 I could have so much fun and go on and on with these, but I’d like to hear what your pictures have said to you.  Please share it in your comments.

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to learn to make my own pasta, and then learn to make some clever flavored pastas.  But until then, and as I’ve mentioned before we have a wonderful company right here in Denver that does exactly that and includes recipes on their website.

Just listen to that beautiful Sweet Potato flavored pappardelle whispering in your ear.  Aren’t you in love?

This recipe comes from Pappardelle’s web site.  It’s easy.. easy..easy.. and very tasty.  I do believe that this cream cheese sauce would match well with any pasta.  After the recipe I’ll post a link to their website so you can browse.

Sweet Potato Pappardelle con Salsa di Noci

1 lb. Pappardelle’s Sweet Potato Pappardelle Pasta
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz. shelled walnuts, finely chopped   I used pecans because that’s what I had on hand
tablespoons butter, unsalted
7 oz. marscapone or cream cheese    I used cream cheese
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Melt butter in skillet and sauté garlic until it is golden brown. Add walnuts, stir for 3 minutes and remove entire contents from heat.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in 6-8 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente (about 8-10 minutes).

3. While pasta is cooking, add the marscapone or cream cheese to the walnut mixture and heat gently throughout.

4. Drain the pasta (do not rinse), toss in the grated Parmesan and transfer to a heated serving dish. Stir in the sauce and serve at once.

Serves 6

Buffalo Burgers

January 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Posted in Beef | 54 Comments
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I’ve always said that if I had to kill my own food, I’d be a vegetarian. 

I’ve also always claimed that if I were a vegetarian I’d miss hamburgers so much that I’d kill a cow to get one, if I had to. 

For Buffalo burgers???  I’ll leave the killing of a bison to the experts.  I don’t even think a konk on the head with my cast iron skillet would cause them to blink an eye.  Have you ever seen one of those things in real life?

They snort and they’re big as all get out.  They’re the bulldogs of the bovine world.

Did you know that there are about 500,000 bison in the United States and many thousands of them are right here in the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming? 

Yes, I live in the Wild West and we have a small herd just a few miles south of Highlands Ranch and here’s a picture of my neighbors. 

 I’d like to introduce you to (from left to right) that’s  Bill, Joe and little Joey Jr….

Did you know that buffalo is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, pork and chicken and even half the fat of turkey? 

 Ground buffalo is so lean you may need to turn your skillet down or spray it with non-stick spray. 

4 tips for cooking buffalo:

  • Lower heat
  • Cook slower
  • Think Pink
  • Don’t overcook

I rarely eat buffalo and honestly am not all that crazy about the idea of killing these majestic animals.  I did buy ground buffalo meat for this recipe.  If you’ve never eaten Buffalo, the taste is very similar to beef. 

This recipe is a combination of great flavors that would work well for turkey burgers or hamburgers and the sauce would work in many situations.   I also liked the Marsala Wine method for the caramelized onions.  These burgers would be best grilled, but my Weber is still in hibernation, so I pan fried them in my cast iron skillet. 

So with all that said here’s the recipe:

Buffalo Burgers With Caramelized Onions

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 C. diced onion, plus 1 onion sliced into rings for garnish
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 t. dried rosemary
  • 1 t. dried thyme
  • 2 t. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t. brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1 pound ground buffalo meat
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • Lettuce and tomato for garnish



  • 1/4 C. of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 C. ketchup
  • 1/4 C. mayonnaise

Caramelized Onions:  Saute 1 onion thinly sliced into rings in 2 T. Marsala wine for 10 – 15 minutes or until caramelized.

For the burgers:  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add chopped onions and sauté, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until softened; set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, combine egg, rosemary, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt and pepper,  Mix in cooled onion and buffalo meat  Shape mixture into four 1/2 inch thick patties.  Chill up to 6 hours.

When ready to cook burgers, cook patties for about 5 minutes per side in a little olive oil in a cast iron skillet (or grill).

To build your burger:  Spread sauce on toasted buns and serve remaining sauce on the side for dipping.  Place patties on bun and garnish with lettuce and tomato and caramelized onions.

Beer Pairing:  Lightly malted Colorado Golden Ale

Wine Pairing:  Malbec from Argentina would have the red and black fruits and the body to go well with the buffalo burger.

I’m certainly not an expert on cooking buffalo meat.  Did a little research and  here are my sources:

  • National Bison Association
  • Colorado Classique Cookbook
  • Maverick Ranch

So how do you feel about eating Buffalo?

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